Winter ignoring spring's expected arrival

BOSTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The calendar may say spring is near, but parts of the United States saw winter thumbing its nose at the calendar, sending in a snowy, arctic blast.

A storm system brought forecasts of double-digit snow amounts for the mountains of New England and rain elsewhere Tuesday, CNN reported.


In Boston, the forecast called for 3- to 6 inches of snow and sleet, followed by rain Tuesday.

Boston's mayor called on city commuters to use public transportation when possible to keep streets clear for public work crews.

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Low visibility Monday prompted delays of at least an hour at the three major airports in the New York area.

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Parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas were socked by blizzard conditions throughout the day Monday as surface temperatures in some areas barely reached the teens.

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Tuesday's forecast for some areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan wasn't much better, with up to 5 inches of snow expected, along with blustery winds.

In North Dakota, the Transportation Department issued a no-travel advisory for the eastern half of the state, saying visibility was nearly zero in some areas because of blowing snow, and a significant amount of ice was on the highways and streets.


KXJB-TV, Fargo, N.D., reported three highways in west-central Minnesota were closed because of blowing and drifting snow.

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In the South, rain fell and tornadoes were reported, CNN reported.

A tornado touched down Monday afternoon in Rutherford County near Nashville, county officials said, covering about 4 1/2 miles on the ground.

Joe Gourley, with the Rutherford County Emergency Management Agency, said a tornado damaged about a dozen homes and knocked down trees.

Nearby, middle school students were evacuated after lightning struck the school and sparked a roof fire, WTVF-TV, Nashville, reported.

The rains associated with the system brought relief for firefighters battling a 260-acre wildfire near the east Tennessee mountain resort town of Pigeon Forge, CNN reported. Only five acres were burned late Monday.

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